Longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers great and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August in the first year he's eligible. Former New York Giants pass rusher Michael Strahan, who also was in his first year of eligibility, will not join him.
That development surprised some folks, but not Sapp, who says one of his former teammates was better than Strahan.
"Nobody ever talks about Simeon (Rice)," Sapp told the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday. "Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday. (Rice) didn't rush the worst lineman. You know, the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years.
"When they were putting the label on him as a bust, they put 'B-U-S. OK, let's transition him on the other side and see if he can play in his fourth year."
Well, then. We fully expect Strahan to get a B-U-S-T in Canton in 2014. We do not expect Strahan to have Sapp present him.
"They put (Strahan) at right end and he couldn't do it, so they moved him to the weak guy. One-on-one with the (Eagles right tackle) Jon Runyans for eight quarters every year. Sim won't ever have his name brought up (for the Hall of Fame), and that's a shame. He's one of the best pass rushers I've ever encountered in my life," Sapp said.
We agree with Sapp on one thing here: Rice is one of the most underrated, forgotten players of his generation. (Despite his memorable taste in coats.)Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.